- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Republicans and Democrats alike reacted with revulsion, condemnation and vows of vengeance yesterday to the bloodiest terrorist attack ever against the United States.
"Never in our history have such vile, insane and cowardly acts been perpetrated on our homeland," said Sen. George F. Allen, Virginia Republican. "All Americans and our allies must be united in our resolve to pursue those cowardly conspirators who perpetrated these murderous acts."
In a joint statement, congressional leaders of both parties said they were "outraged at this cowardly attack on the people of the United States."
"Our heartfelt prayers are with the victims and their families, and we stand strongly united behind the President as our Commander-in-Chief," they said. "We will work with him to ensure that the full resources of the United States government are brought to bear to protect the American people and punish the perpetrators of these unconscionable acts. May God bless America."
Some Democrats also used the tragedy as an opportunity to argue against President Bush's proposed national missile defense and in favor of anti-terrorism programs.
"This shows how ineffective a missile-defense system would be, if people want to do this big damage," said Sen. Herb Kohl, Wisconsin Democrat. "It's an indication of how vulnerable we all are. We live in a world where people who want to do this kind of damage are able to do it."
Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat, said he had been working on defense appropriations on the House floor at the time of the attacks. He said the terrorist strikes were another argument for "moving $800 million from a national missile-defense system to prevent against terrorist attacks."
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, briefed House members in a conference call yesterday afternoon and announced the House will meet at 10 a.m. today to address a resolution on the terrorist acts, said Kori Bernards, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt.
Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called the attacks "a shocking and unacceptable act of violence."
"We must stand together as a nation to confront these and future dangers to our national security, and this tragedy illustrates the importance of that," Mr. Kyl said. "I am confident that the United States will pursue any and all efforts to track down these terrorists and ensure the safety of the American people."
Sen. Chuck Hagel, Nebraska Republican, called the day "this generation's Pearl Harbor."
Lawmakers promised swift retribution.
"The appropriate response is to determine the source, go to the source, arrest them, and if they resist arrest, kill them," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat.
Rep. Michael N. Castle, Delaware Republican, called it a "day of infamy."
"We need to come together as a country, gather as much information as possible and respond forcefully against those involved," Mr. Castle said.
John Godfrey and John Berlau contributed to this report.


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